Practical Nurse (PN) Diploma Program Curriculum

Practical Nurse (PN) Diploma Program Curriculum

The Practical Nurse (PN) Diploma Program provides a dynamic pathway entry into professional licensed nurse (PN) Practice. This curriculum will prepare learners to apply for PN licensure and take the NCLEXPN® exam. The PN Diploma Program is a distance program, meaning all didactic instruction is delivered via online learning modalities. Click here to learn more.

For more information, review the latest College Catalog. For questions regarding Admissions into the Program or Financial Aid, speak directly with an Admissions or Financial Aid Advisor at (801) 689-2160 or by filling out this form to request information.

How many classes does the PN Diploma program require?

A total of 42 semester credits are required for completion, consisting of six lower-division core nursing courses, comprised of 28 academic semester credits delivered over three academic semesters semester, and four GE courses, comprised of 14 semester credits taken concurrently with the core nursing courses. Other general education and elective courses are available for learners who transfer in the required GE credits (or for any learner who is interested in taking these unrequired courses), provided there is room within the individual’s semester credit load.

What classes are required for a PN Diploma?

The curriculum is specifically constructed to promote career mobility in nursing. The curriculum in the PN Diploma Program is concept-based instead of content-based. Learners will apply concepts to a variety of systems and disease processes, and critically reason through situations by concept.

PN Diploma Prerequisites

The College does offer prerequisites with the General Education (GE) courses. Required classes for admittance into the programs may be found in the College Catalog.

Note: Prerequisites are defined as courses that must be completed prior to enrollment into the given course. Corequisites are defined as courses that must be completed either prior to or concurrently with the given course.

Practical Nursing Prerequisites

SCI 220: Human Anatomy with Intervention Skill-Based (ISB) Experiential Learning Delivery

Modality: Online (Online Didactic Instruction, Virtual ISB Instruction) Semester Credits: 4 (3 Didactic, 1 ISB) 

Contact Hours: 75 (45 Didactic, 30 ISB) 

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer (Subject to Enrollment)

Prerequisites: None 

Corequisites: SCI 221 (or equivalent): Human Physiology with Intervention Skill-Based (ISB)

Experiential Learning Requisites: None 

Description: In conjunction with SCI 220: Human Physiology, this course provides a comprehensive look at the human body’s anatomy and functions. Topics include organization of the body, characteristics of life, and anatomical terminology. The skin, skeletal system, muscles, digestive, urinary, lymphatic, circulatory, reproductive, and nervous systems are examined. Sensory organs and the endocrine system are also presented. This course contains an intervention skill-based experiential learning component (1 credit hour), where learners will be able to practice and apply principles they are learning in the didactic portion (3 semester credits) of the course

SCI 221: Human Physiology with Intervention Skill-Based (ISB) Experiential Learning

Delivery Modality: Online (Online Didactic Instruction, Virtual ISB Instruction) 

Semester Credits: 4 (3 Didactic, 1 ISB) 

Contact Hours: 75 (45 Didactic, 30 ISB) 

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer (Subject to Enrollment) 

Prerequisites: None 

Corequisites: SCI 220 (or equivalent): Human Anatomy with Intervention Skill-Based (ISB)

Experiential Learning Requisites: None

Description: In conjunction with SCI 220: Human Anatomy, this course examines major parts of the body and how they work independently as well as together. Also explained are principles related to nutrition, metabolism, body fluid balances, and aging. Also presented are how the body maintains homeostasis, the relationship of chemistry to human anatomy and physiology, and cell function and division. Several diseases and disorders are discussed as well as the cause, detection, and treatment of them. This course contains an intervention skill-based experiential learning component (1 credit hour), where learners will be able to practice and apply principles they are learning in the didactic portion (3 semester credits) of the course. 

SCI 225: Pathophysiology

Delivery Modality: Online (Online Didactic Instruction) 

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic Only) 

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer (Subject to Enrollment) 

Prerequisites: Minimum eight (8) semester credits of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology

Corequisites: None 

Requisites: None

Description: This course describes the general principles of disease then presents information dealing with specific disorders of body systems or individual organs. The purpose of this course is to provide the learner with basic understanding of pathophysiology as a change from normal physiological functioning of the various systems of the human body. The course is based on illness and disease within a systems framework across the lifespan. Emphasis is put on select illnesses most often encountered by health professionals. The course focuses on critical thinking used to analyze the signs and symptoms based on the pathophysiology of these conditions.

MAT 100: College Algebra

Delivery Modality: Online (Online Didactic Instruction) 

Semester Credits: 3 (Didactic Only) 

Contact Hours: 45

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer (Subject to Enrollment)

Prerequisites: None Corequisites: None 

Requisites: None

Description: This course provides knowledge of Intermediate Algebra and its applications. Emphasis is placed on algebraic techniques with polynomials, rational expressions, exponents, radical expressions and equations, factoring, linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, logarithmic and exp

Practical Nursing Core Course Descriptions

PN 105: Foundations of Nursing-Fundamentals

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: SCI 220, SCI 221, and PN 105 or equivalent 

Corequisites: None

Requisites: MAT 100 

Description: This course is an overview of the basic principles of pharmacology, including major drug classifications and prototypes of commonly used medications. Principles of medication administration include aspects of best practice for safe, quality, patient-centered care. Central points include safety, quality improvement factors in the administration of medications, patient teaching, and variations encountered when administering medications to diverse patient populations across the lifespan

PN 115: Pharmacology

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: SCI 220, SCI 221, and PN 105 or equivalent 

Corequisites: None

Requisites: MAT 100 

Description: This course is an overview of the basic principles of pharmacology, including major drug classifications and prototypes of commonly used medications. Principles of medication administration include aspects of best practice for safe, quality, patient-centered care. Central points include safety, quality improvement factors in the administration of medications, patient teaching, and variations encountered when administering medications to diverse patient populations across the lifespan

PN 125: CONCEPTS OF NURSING-HEALTH PROMOTION

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: SCI 220, SC221, and PN 105 or equivalent 

Corequisites: None 

Requisites: PN 115 

Description: This course focuses on the role of the professional nurse in promoting the optimal health for individual clients. Basic psychomotor nursing skills and an introduction to medical/surgical nursing for low risk clients is discussed. This course also provides the learner with techniques for carrying out a physical, psychosocial, spiritual and cultural assessment for well-being of clients. Learners are introduced to assessment devices and procedures to collect data. The course focuses on health promotion, health protection, disease prevention and communication strategies throughout the lifespan.

PN 135: Concepts of Nursing in Care of Specialized Populations

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: SCI 220, SC221, and PN 105 or equivalent

Corequisites: None 

Requisites: PN 125

Description: This course further develops learners’ ability to use the nursing process, critical thing, therapeutic communication and basic nursing skills in caring for clients with increasingly less predictable outcomes or demonstrating a change in health status. Clinical experiences are included to give learners the opportunity to enhance the development of clinical competency in caring for clients. Working collaboratively with other members of interdisciplinary health care teams is emphasized.

PN 145: Concepts of Nursing IP 

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: SCI 220, SC221, PN 105, and PN 125 or equivalent

Corequisites: None

Requisites: SCI 225 or equivalent 

Description: This course focuses on the chronic nature of certain states of being when nursing a client at various stages in life. A major focus is in the application of the nursing process in meeting needs of clients in various settings. Concepts related to emotional problems, and pathological reactions to life stresses and chronic pain will be explored. An emphasis on the therapeutic relationships and the development of individualized plans of care will be presented. Communication skills, mental health assessment, and various therapeutic balance, and sensory perception will be addressed. Direct focused client care experiential learning is included to give learners the opportunity to gain experience with many of these chronic conditions.

PN 165: Concepts of Nursing IIP

Outside Preparation: An average of three (3) hours per week for every didactic credit hour

Prerequisites: SCI 220, SC221, PN 105, and PN 125 or equivalent

Corequisites: None

Requisites: SCI 225

Description: This course emphasizes the provision of professional nursing care for clients across the lifespan with acute medical conditions. The learners will build upon knowledge gained in the basic sciences and other prerequisite nursing courses. A family-centered approach is emphasized throughout the course. The learner will be introduced to the nursing care of acute clients. The course includes application to specific concepts, principles, and theories in various acute care settings. Decision-making skills and independent functioning are emphasized.

NIGHTINGALE COLLEGE’S PN DIPLOMA PROGRAM

The PN Diploma Program curriculum was implemented as a result of the call for radical transformation in nursing education presented in Educating Nurses (Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., & Day, L., 2010), a Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching study on preparation for the nursing profession, and other literature including the Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report on The Future of Nursing. The implementation of concept-based curriculum is an answer to current literature and research on best practices for nursing education.

Upon satisfactory completion of the prescribed PN Diploma Program curriculum with a minimum of “C” grade in each nursing core course and having satisfied all other graduation requirements, the learner will earn a Diploma of Practical Nursing.

The PN Diploma Program prepares graduates for entry-level practical nursing practice in long-term care facilities, clinics, and other health care settings. Nursing is a dynamic profession that contributes significantly to the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

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